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Satnews Daily
February 7th, 2018

Marlink Shakes Out the Sand in the Tenth Edition of the Morocco Desert Challenge

The organizers of the annual Morocco Desert Challenge (MDC) rally raid have signed a three-year deal with satellite services and solutions provider Marlink for the provision of tracking and race management services based on the integrated Iritrack technology platform. 

Iritrack is a sophisticated satellite-based tracking and security system providing reliable two-way data and voice communications in a single device. It will be installed on nearly 200 competitor cars, trucks, buggies, motorbikes and quads for the tenth edition of the Morocco Desert Challenge, which takes place April 14-22, 2018, and will also be used in subsequent editions.

Credit: Morocco Desert Challenge

The system offers a combination of tracking functions and safety sensors in addition to an integrated satellite telephone. By simply pushing one button participants can contact the emergency center of the rally directly, without first switching on a device and dialling a number, as with a traditional satellite phone.

With Iritrack, the organizers are also able to directly contact competitors even when they are racing. In addition, built-in sensors automatically inform race control when a vehicle is overturned or stationary due to an incident, supporting faster and more effective intervention. Iritrack also features manual panic buttons configurable by the user, to be used in emergency situations or for identification.

Marlink will deliver and manage the course technology infrastructure for the MDC, with supply of the unique monitoring tool, Iriviewer Software Suite, which manages the Iritrack network to provide accurate live locations and timings of all competitors in addition to deep analysis of the data received.

Completing the ‘tracking-as-a-service’ package, Marlink will also provide its team of field engineers to install and maintain the fleet of tracking devices, to assist security staff in monitoring the race at the operational HQ, in addition to delivering in-depth training for the organiser’s own technicians.

Gert Duson, organizer of the Morocco Desert Challenge said that with nearly 200 vehicles registered, the Morocco Desert Challenge has grown to be the second largest rally-raid in the world, after the Dakar. We are keen to augment our race management capabilities and believe that Marlink is well positioned to help us achieve this. Iritrack is well proven in countless extreme desert rallies and we are confident that the technology and Marlink’s support will help to keep our competitors safe and secure.

Florian Lefèvre, VP Sales Events, Marlink added that they are delighted to have been selected to support the Morocco Desert Challenge with their advanced satellite-based tracking technology and services. Iritrack’s interconnection with Iriviewer for data management delivers a powerful tool for the race organizers to understand exactly what is happening during the race and act according to the best interest of the competitors battling it out in one of the world’s most extreme environments.